Solutions to SA women’s top 10 skin concerns – Part 1
In partnership with SA’s top medical aesthetic companies
1. Adult acne
Acne is increasingly becoming an unpleasant fact of life for women, sometimes into their forties. This tells us something’s wrong, as our skin acts as a warning light for our health. The three main causes of adult acne are stress, hormone dysfunction and an unhealthy lifestyle.
The Skin Renewal medical and skin-care professionals will consider your problem holistically and offer the most effective medical and aesthetic treatments.
In-clinic treatments include:
Chemical peels: The most effective peels for acne include Lamelle Beta Salicylic acid peels, Azelan, modified Jessners Peel and TCA peels (for post acne scarring). Your skin type and budget will determine which is used for you.
Carboxytherapy is an effective complementary treatment that improves the effect of other treatments. Tiny amounts of CO2 gas are injected into the target area, stimulating a healing response and helping to heal pimples and active acne by destroying the acne bacteria. It also helps prevent scarring and strengthens the skin.
Extremely common among SA women of all skin tones, pigmentation is one of the trickiest problems to treat, firstly because there are different types of pigmentation – hormonal pigmentation, superficial hyperpigmentation and dermal pigmentation. Because it is triggered by the sun, there is no quick or permanent fix. Pigmentation treatment and prevention needs to be managed daily and indefinitely. Even one day of unintended sunburn can set your condition back.
The first order is to avoid stimulating pigmentation by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen, preferably SPF 50+ on a daily basis.
In-clinic treatment depends on skin type, pigmentation type and the depth of the pigment in the skin. Most common, superficial hyperpigmentation can be treated with a combination of superficial chemical peels or lasers such as Limelight Laser or Fraxel Dual.
Fraxel™ DUAL incorporates 2 lasers in 1 – used separately or together, depending on skin needs, and shows results in as little as 2–3 treatments, with hardly any downtime. All forms of pigmentation and pre-cancerous skin lesions can be treated, skin texture, deep lines and acne scars can be improved and sun damage and pigmentation can be treated.
Scarring from a wound to the skin (accidental, surgical or resulting from skin damage such as acne) has traditionally been very difficult to treat. Even after the scab has fallen off the wound, the repair work is far from over, and it may take months or even years for the skin to return to its normal strength, depending on the size, depth and location of the injury.
The larger and deeper the wound, the longer it takes to heal and the greater the chance of a visible scar. Your skin’s own make-up also determines how you will scar. Some of us are lucky to have scars that heal neatly and fade away, while others, especially among people with darker complexions, will have pigmented and even keloid scarring. The good news is that technological advances give us much more effective in-clinic treatment:
Carboxytherapy: The CO2 injected just beneath the skin causes the body to increase oxygenated blood flow, nutrients and growth factors to the area. This improved circulation results in cell restoration and stimulates collagen, allowing the scar to heal more quickly and effectively.
Dermapen Skin Needling stimulates the skin's ability to repair itself. During this safe, precise procedure, a sterile Dermapen needle head is moved over the skin, creating "mini wounds" that stimulate the body to release healing growth factors, triggering the production of collagen and elastin. This new, fresh collagen forms a smoother, more even appearance on the treated area over time.
Pearl Rejuvenation: The Pearl laser has a computer-guided scanning device that can be programmed to remove specific layers of tissue uniformly. Depending on the depth, treatments can range from mild to very aggressive. It is able to treat a variety of conditions, ranging from age spots to deep wrinkles and scars.
Scar subcision is recommended for very deep scars that leave hollows in the skin. During this simple, in-office surgical procedure a special needle is inserted into the scar to break the tether that pulls the scarred skin downwards. Following this, other treatments, such as those mentioned above, will smooth out the scar tissue itself and leave its colour more even.
4. Spider and varicose veins
Very common among both women and men, spider veins, aka thread veins and "broken capillaries" (this is not what they are), are small dilated veins that appear close to the surface of the skin and look like spider webs.
Varicose veins: The larger, usually swollen veins, tend to appear during pregnancy and menopause, because hormonal changes play a role in vein health. Excess weight and lack of movement might play a role in their development as extra weight puts extra stress on the capillaries, which means you should try to move regularly to ensure proper blood circulation and help control weight.
Effective in-office solutions include:
Cutera Laser Vein removal: For body and facial spider veins less than 4mm in diameter.
Sclerotherapy: Recommended for varicose veins and spider veins. The doctor injects a solution (generally a salt solution) directly into the vein, causing irritation of the vessel’s lining, which causes it to collapse and the blood to clot. Over time, the vessel fades.
5. Sun damage
What we view as skin ageing – freckles, age spots, pigmentation, leathery skin, fine wrinkles, a blotchy complexion – is mostly the sign of accumulated damage from unprotected exposure to the sun’s UV and infrared rays. Sun damage signs can appear on the skin as early as your twenties, but the damage becomes really visible between 35 and 49.
Of course, preventative protection wins first prize, but lucky for us there are professional treatments available to help counter the damaged and dehydrated appearance of skin:
Most highly recommended are Fraxel Dual laser, chemical peels, carboxy therapy and Laser Genesis treatments (in combination or alone). The consulting doctor or skin-care therapist will determine what suits your skin’s needs and budget. These options all stimulate collagen production in the skin, restoring elasticity, plumping the appearance of the skin, fading pigmentation marks and giving the complexion a smoother, more even appearance.
Find out more about the conditions that mostly affect women and the recommended treatments, as well as the four pillars to addressing ageing skin, by visiting Skin Renewal at www.skinrenewal.co.za
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Images sourced from iStock.